As part of the Victorian Government’s AU$2.4 billion initiative to improve public rail safety, the Level Crossing Removal Authority will oversee the removal of 50 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne.
As part of this initiative, the Caulfield to Dandenong project will:
- Remove nine dangerous level crossings on the Cranbourne to Pakenham line in Melbourne
- Rebuild five train stations along the line with new modern facilities (Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Hughesdale, Clayton and Noble Park stations)
- Upgrade signalling and power along 72 km of track
- Create 11 MCGs worth of new public open space
Collaborating for Success
Working as an Alliance, Lend Lease, WSP, CPB Contractors, Aurecon and Metro Trains Melbourne are delivering this project on behalf of the Level Crossing Removal Authority. Our role includes the detailed design and construction phase design services. For the tender design, we delivered a sustainable, robust and cost-effective solution, using BIM technology to provide visualisations of the project through 3D models. By doing so, we created an innovative design that maximised open space.
This modern solution provides:
- Nine km of new rail
- Five new stations
- Over 12 km of continual pedestrian and cycle paths
- 225,000 square metres of linear park
Our design replaced the nine level crossing with ‘rail-overs’, where the rail line is elevated above the existing corridor. By designing the line this way, we separate the road and rail and eliminate major barriers separating communities.
Designing for Minimal Community and Environmental Impact
Other benefits of our design scheme included:
- Decreasing disruption to the communities along the corridor during construction by using prefabricated components
- Avoiding the need to excavate approximately 300,000 m3 of spoil and truck this material on local roads
- Reducing the number of truck movements (by up to 70,000) when compared to an open cut trench solution
- Speeding up the completion time
- Removing the need for compulsory acquisitions of houses or parks
- Creating new station precincts with safer access for bus and car drop-offs
- Integrating retail and gateways to new open space
- Introducing water efficiency initiatives and improved stormwater management
- Avoiding the high-water table along the corridor as well as existing in-ground utilities crossing the corridor, in particular: — The Murrumbeena water main
- 66V transmission at Poath Road
- Telecommunications services at all road crossings
Designing for Construction
Our design allowed for one new elevated track to be built on either side of the existing track pair. This design aligns the track precisely in the gap between existing tracks and the property boundary. It means that we can construct the new viaduct while trains are running and without any land acquisition. We used a carrier gantry for construction, which was a first in a residential environment in Australia. And, we worked with the operator to reassess the traction braking force, to reduce extreme cases mentioned in the Australian Standard. This meant the project required less piling and slender viaduct columns.
Designing for Operation
On average, trains operate along the railway eight metres above the existing ground level and stations are elevated at 10 m above ground level. This assists with reducing traction power consumption as trains brake uphill into stations and accelerate downhill out of stations.
Our design uses superior componentry, previously unseen on the Melbourne network, including a Vossloh concrete trackform that requires less maintenance and offers higher reliability.
Designing for Noise
The acoustic design team developed a new noise policy for the project, which will be used in future for level crossing removals projects.
Designing for the Community
Our design reflects community feedback, which indicated a strong desire for more green space in the project area. The innovative design of an elevated railway allows direct use of the land beneath for recreational purposes as a linear park.
The use of two structures allows for light and rain on the linear park and reduces the visual bulk for both park users and the adjacent community.
Creating Lasting Benefits
In June 2018, two new stations at Murrumbeena and Carnegie along the Pakenham and Cranbourne line opened. Once complete, this project will markedly improve the reliability of the metropolitan, regional and freight services. The capacity on Melbourne’s busiest train line will increase by 42 per cent, providing room for an additional 11,000 passengers in the morning peak.
As well as reducing congestion, the project will improve safety for drivers and pedestrians, re-unite communities and create lasting benefits such as new open space and art, cultural and sustainability features.